Alvin Ailey

by Rachele from Iowa

"All of these dancers are dancers who are on the verge of their careers, so to speak. They're here to hone their artistry, and make the transition from the classroom to the stage.”

Do you know who created the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, or AAADT? It was Alvin Ailey, hence the name. He lived for only fifty-seven years, but in that time, he was able to create many different dances. Some parts of his life, such as his hometown, contribute to his accomplishments, the reasons why he is important, and how he has inspired us all.

<a href=>Alivn's Dance Theater</a href>
Alivn's Dance Theater

Alvin has accomplished many things during his lifetime, and some happened when he was still very young. When he was a teenager, he went on a field trip to a dance academy where he first learned about dance, and this inspired him to become a dancer. He was never able to make up his mind about what he wanted to do, so he was never afraid of change. A few years later, after his teacher had died, he created his own academy. In this academy, he let people who were different join, like people with different skin colors, different heights, and different genders, than his own. With his own mixed styles of dancing, he inspired many people across the world to become dancers. Because of his work, he was given many honors and awards for his successes as a teacher, and as a dancer as well.

<a href=> Choreography by Alvin Ailey</a href>
Choreography by Alvin Ailey

Some of Alvin’s personal history is very important, because it influenced him to become a dancer. Alvin was born on January 5, 1931, and died on December 1, 1989. He was born in Rodgers, Texas, but he moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1943, when he was a teenager. In California, people cared about music, art, entertainment, and literature. There were people of many races in L.A. I think that this probably made Alvin like people who were different. Because of the importance of the arts in L.A., I think that living in L.A. was probably the biggest influence on Alvin’s career.

<a href=>Alvin Ailey</a href>
Alvin Ailey

Although he isn’t alive today, he is still important to me, and to many others. His career started because he was never afraid to change his mind, so he went from college to college, trying to decide what to do with his life. He was able to make dance fun for people who were different, not only for people like him. When he was young, he lived in a poor family, but when he became successful in a dancing career, he was able to create a dance studio by himself. Before he died, he choreographed seventy-nine ballets for the whole world's entertainment. Alvin was known as a major creative artist who got many people, including me, interested in modern dance.

Alvin Ailey was able to inspire us in one way or another by being a normal person, just living his life. I can now do a variety of things, thanks to him. Because his dances have different races, genders, and shapes in them, people have learned that dancers should be different, and not the same. He showed people that not making permanent choices can lead to great things in life. Some people have decided that they want to be a choreographer, like him, when they grow up, because he created beautiful dances that could be used world-wide. Now, I see dancers in different ways than I used to. I see them not as what they look like when they are dancing, but as the way they are dancing. I would probably not be dancing if it weren't for Alvin. He made modern dance popular in America.

Even though Alvin was not a well known celebrity, he was still a great inspirational dancer who was able to choreograph over seventy-nine ballets in his fifty-seven years of life. He was not a superhero with the amazing abilities of super-strength, or heat ray vision, but he is still a hero, my hero.

Page created on 1/11/2007 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 8/26/2018 6:38:04 PM

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